Garry Monk sends message to Leeds players ahead of Fulham clash
By Matt Farr
Garry Monk has urged his Leeds side to play with freedom and without pressure when they take on promotion rivals Fulham on Tuesday.
Leeds are currently flying high in fourth place in the Championship, and they can move one step closer to making their promotion dream a reality with a win at Craven Cottage.
But Monk has demanded an improvement from the performance in Leeds’ 3-1 win over Birmingham on Friday, insisting that the players put themselves under too much pressure.
Instead, speaking to the Yorkshire Evening Post, Monk has urged his side to free their minds, and go into their meeting with Fulham without pressure.
He said: “The first 60 minutes wasn’t good enough from anyone [at Birmingham] but we spoke at half-time and we just lacked that little bit of freedom.
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“We looked like we were playing with pressure and we shouldn’t be. We are in a fantastic position and I said to the players at the end that we need to help free your minds a little bit more.
“But of course it’s difficult, every game is very hard and it’s great to have a magic wand and say that you can play for 90 minutes your best football but it doesn’t happen like that.”
Leeds are currently on a four game unbeaten run, having recorded important victories over rivals Sheffield Wednesday and Birmingham as part of their bid to win promotion to the Premier League.
Monk’s side are in a strong position in the play-offs, with an eight point cushion over seventh-placed Fulham, but an automatic promotion pursuit is still very much on the agenda.
With 11 games remaining in the campaign, Leeds need just seven points to match second-placed Brighton, after Chris Hughton’s side slipped to back-to-back defeats.
The Fulham clash, however, represents one of Leeds’ most important fixtures this season, and Monk will hope that his side can come through unscathed.
In other Leeds news, this is how Leeds are expected to line-up against Fulham on Tuesday.